Belize Stands with Guyana: Government Expresses Concern Over Venezuela’s Annexation Threats

Belize Stands with Guyana: Government Expresses Concern Over Venezuela’s Annexation Threats

The Government of Belize is standing in solidarity with the people of Guyana amidst threats of annexation by Venezuela. In a release, GOB says it is deeply concerned about Venezuela’s decision to exercise rights of administrative sovereignty over the Essequibo region, an integral part of the territory of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The government notes that the plans directly challenge Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, heighten tensions between the two countries, and violate well-recognized rules of international law. Despite the International Court of Justices ruling on December 1, ordering Venezuela not to do anything that “might aggravate or extend” its territorial dispute with Guyana “or make it more difficult to resolve,” the country is not backing down. GOB says it urges states to respect and adhere to norms and principles of international law and stresses that Latin America and the Caribbean must remain a zone of peace. Yesterday, Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow weighed in on the situation and says that he believes the government is not doing enough and compared their response to actions taken in response to the war in the Gaza Strip.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Unlike the People’s United Party we are not inconsistent when it comes to making pronouncements on foreign policy. We address the difficult questions and the difficult challenges that we face in the world and what is happening in Guyana we put out a restrained statement when Maduro first announced that he was going to have this referendum. CARICOM also put out a statement they were more strong they condemned it and they pointed Mr.Maduro to the ICJ and called for him to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana. Guyana in 1966 and Venezuela signed a Geneva agreement that they would resolve this matter amicably, peacefully. Venezuela proceeded with their referendum and they announced, Maduro announced yesterday that he was taking over that part of Guyana and he pointed some military general as the governor of that region and that all the people in that region will now become Venezuelans. This is outrageous. This is abhorrent and as Belizeans this is what we should be protesting about. Again I don’t believe in suspending diplomatic ties but I hope that the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister are writing to the Venezuelans, are calling the Venezuelans in because this has direct implications on Belize. While we cry and we pray for the people of Gaza and the people of Israel to resolve their differences that does not have the type of implications as what Venezuela is trying to do to Guyana. That is frightening and shocking and I pray that the Americans, the British all of the superpowers get together and defend Guyana because Maduro must be stopped because if he is not stopped what are they going to start to think in Guatemala next ? That is real. That is not all the way in the Middle East and North Africa that is right here.”

Additionally, Belize reiterates its strong support for the ongoing judicial process at the International Court of Justice, which provides for the peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela.

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